Remember Who You Are
Once there was this guy who lived in the sewer. He didn’t really mind living in the sewer, as it allowed him to live a life free from the worries of most day-to-day frustrations and anxieties. He didn’t have much money, but he didn’t really need anything.
This particular sewer that he lived in wasn’t really a sewer, per se, it was a large stretch of pipe that led out to a river, which was about a mile from the ocean. Up the river were a couple of industrial plants, and had been built specifically so they could dump their toxic industrial waste in the river. The factories had been built well before any EPA rules had specifically forbid the dumping of sewage into the river, but one has to wonder about the foresight of somebody that would base part of their business plan on the ability to continually pollute a natural resource.
This particular pipe had also been built to dump raw sewage directly into the river, but the same laws which precluded the plant to dump toxic waste into the river also precluded the local town to figure out another way to deal with their waste.
So as it stood, the large pipe, which was about a half a mile long, hadn’t been used in several years, and had dried considerably. There were a few storm drains that led into he pipe, and the central character of this story had lived in the sewer long enough, and had learned to read the weather well enough to prepare for the rise in water.
The area where this all took place didn’t see much rainfall, well below average, so this guy didn’t have to worry about his home flooding too often. And since he learned long ago to stay away from the bottle, he wasn’t in any danger of passing out and waking up floating out in the middle of the ocean somewhere. Contrary to what you’d expect, he was a pretty together bum, and put a good deal of thought into planning for the future. His future.
Our tale begins when he was out a night scavenging for food. He knew which were the good spots, which restaurants had decent leftovers in their dumpster. This was getting harder and harder, as many restaurants participated in programs that shared their food with the needy. Somebody from the local soup kitchen would come around and collect the leftovers, every night, so it was getting harder and harder for him to find unused food portions in the dumpsters.
You may be thinking that he could easily go straight to the source, the food kitchens themselves, but he learned that nothing was free. They all had their own philosophy and ideas about how a homeless man should be living his life. After about a week of free food, they grew comfortable enough with him to try and “counsel” him, and help him to “find a job,” so he could get a “decent place to live.”
As soon as they started in on that kind of helpful advice, he quickly found himself scavenging for his own food again, and heading back to his underground sanctuary.
As he was dumpster diving behind the Nigerian delicatessen (they were fairly new in town, and hadn’t been convinced by the local charity to give their leftover food yet) and found quite a bit of bread and cheese that were only a few days past their expiration date. Being a firm believer that expiration dates were only a recommendation, and not a hard and fast rule, he realized he hit the jackpot.
He went back home, and made himself a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches. If you’re wondering how a bum living in an abandoned underground sewer can make grilled cheese sandwiches, don’t fret. He had quite a setup, an area with a bed, and a couple of mattresses. A barbecue, and a few pots and pans that he used occasionally to cook with. He wasn’t your stereotypical bum that cooked an open can of beans on the fire. He had done a lot of work to make his home livable and comfortable. And the most interesting part was how quickly he could move everything about the water line at a moments notice.
But after he’d eaten a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches, he started feeling funny. Not, “I ate some bad food,” funny, but funny, funny. Not normal, funny. Something is really wrong with reality, funny. He started to see double, and his mouth and lips began to swell. He tried to sleep it off, but no use.
When he woke up in the next morning, his lips and tongue had returned to their normal size but his mind was completely frazzled. He still could think the same thoughts that he used to think, at least that’s what he remembered thinking when he woke up, but the thoughts he used to connect to things were different. Things that used to cause him fear now caused him to feel peaceful and tranquil. Those things that he never gave a second thought to now terrified him beyond measure.
Like when you are sitting there looking at this, and all of a sudden you feel you’ve been misled, or you’ve allowed yourself to be misled, and you are finally seeing things for the first time. You may look around and see the same things, but they take on completely different meaning. As if you are finally starting to realize what it’s really all about.
He decided to go back to the source and see if they could help. He would never have considered even making eye contact with the owner of a restaurant whose dumpster he had violated the night before, but today it just seemed like the natural thing to do.
He made his way back to the Nigerian delicatessen, and was surprised when they seemed to be expecting him.
“How are you old friend? You have finally come home!” A very large man said to him in heavily accented English when he walked in the front.
Old friend? Wasn’t this a new restaurant?
He found himself returning the embrace, first a little tentatively, and then slowly with more and more willingness.
“Please, tell us what you have learned here.” The large man asked him.
While he didn’t really understand the question, he found himself answering. And his answers astonished him. Not just their content, but the way in which they seemed to be coming from another person that he was watching across the room. Slowly but surely, this objective viewpoint slowly melted back into a subjective experience as he finally remembered everything. Who he was, where he came from, and what he had learned over the years. It felt good. Really good.
He was home again. It was time for the next phase. And it felt wonderful.
To be continuedâ€¦.
To understand what is really going on, have a look below: